12042021-TT-01.qxd 4/11/2021 11:06 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.100 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 haryana INDIA BEAT ARGENTINA IN FIH PRO LEAGUE SPORTS /thetribunechd CREATE A SUSTAINABLE PATHWAY FOR FARMERS INFOCUS SLUGFEST OVER VIOLENCE IN WEST BENGAL BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com monday | 12 april 2021 Centre flags gaps in Pb health infra ICU bed capacity exhausting in red districts | Slow vaccine pace in Patiala, Ludhiana Will improve vax supply, govt assures Maha, C’garh, Punjab Tribune News Service Tribune News Service New Delhi, April 11 The central teams visiting Punjab to help the state contain the surge in Covid-19 cases have flagged the fast exhausting ICU bed capacity in most of the eight red districts witnessing a rise in infections. The team in its report to the Health Ministry said while ICU bed occupancy rate in the state was high (see box), availability of isolation beds with oxygen was shrinking. As of today, the occupancy rate of isolation beds with oxygen is — Hoshiarpur 98 per cent, SAS Nagar 69, Ludhiana 46, Amritsar 38, Jalandhar 35.6, SBS Nagar 35.2, Patiala 34.4 and Rupnagar 25 per cent. In all above districts, more than 75 per cent of the infected are under HC orders status quo on Shillong Harijan Colony Kolkata, April 11 The Meghalaya High Court has ordered status quo to be maintained as of today at Shillong’s Harijan Colony and directed that both Harijan Panchayat Committee and high-level committee of the state to respect it. Petitioner Harijan Panchayat Committee’s counsel R Khatri contended the Meghalaya Government constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Deputy CM on June 4, 2018, for examining all relevant records and documents relating to relocation of the colony from Mawlonghat. The court observed the main contention of the petitioner was that the panchayat committee diverted from its purpose and took decisions in pursuant of which petitioners were being evicted from their houses. The next hearing in the case is on May 25. — TNS IN BRIEF BJP cancels Sengar’s wife’s candidature NEW DELHI: The BJP on Sunday withdrew the candidature of former MLA and Unnao rape convict Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s wife from the UP panchayat polls. The party had fielded Sangeeta from ward number 22 in Fatehpur Chaurasi. BACK PAGE Last round: Tibetans vote to elect prez DHARAMSALA: Tibetan exiles on Sunday voted for the final phase of election for the post of Sikyong (president-inexile) and 45 members of parliament-in-exile. The polling was held in 26 countries at booths set up by Tibetan election commission. PAGE 8 Bizman’s chopper crash-lands in Kerala SECOND SURGE: CENTRAL TEAM FINDINGS ■ Low testing in Patiala, no lab in Rupnagar for RT-PCR ■ Poor tracing in Patiala & Ludhiana ■ Tracing in SAS Nagar hit by manpower shortage ■ No dedicated Covid hospital in SAS Nagar, Rupnagar ■ Lack of Covid-appropriate ICU BED OCCUPANCY A crowded Sunday market in Jalandhar amid the surge. SARABJIT SINGH home isolation, mandating strict monitoring by the state health authorities. The proportion of the posi- tive persons isolated at home in the state are — Ludhiana 100 per cent, SAS Nagar 95, SBS Nagar 88.5, Jalandhar 89% 80% 70.6% 63.2% 44.4% 40% 20% 82.3, Amritsar 78.6, Patiala 78, Hoshiarpur 77.82 and Rupnagar 77.3 per cent. Union Health Secretary VENTILATOR OCCUPANCY (%) SAS Nagar 30 | Hoshiarpur 20 | Jalandhar 27.4 | Ludhiana 8 | SBS Nagar 8 | Patiala 6.64 | Amritsar 6.5 Over 75% infected in 8 high-burden dists under home isolation, require monitoring Rajesh Bhushan flagged the above gaps to Punjab Principal Secretary, Health, continued on page 9 27.69L doses on Day 1 of ‘Tika Utsav’ GOVT TO CONSIDER SII GRANT REQUEST The government said it was considering the financial aid request from the Serum Institute of India, which has sought ~3,000 crore to expand production. Currently, the SII produces around 21 lakh vaccine doses daily out of the country’s daily production capacity of 23.2 lakh doses. Passengers maintain social distancing while travelling on a DTC bus in Delhi. PTI secretary quoted findings of the Central teams stationed in 50 districts of Punjab, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Govt bans Remdesivir export Concern over poor contact tracing New Delhi, April 11 The Centre on Sunday prohibited exports of Remdesivir injection and active pharmaceutical ingredients until the Covid-19 situation stabilised in the country. The government said India was witnessing a surge in cases and as of Sunday, there were 11.08 lakh active cases, and counting. “This has led to 7 COMPANIES MAKING IT ■ Seven Indian firms are pro- ducing Remdesivir injection ■ They have licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, US ■ Have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month a sudden spike in demand for Remdesivir injection used in Covid treatment. There is a potential of further increase in this demand in the coming days,” the government said, banning exports for now. The government also said it had taken steps to ensure easy access of hospitals and patients to remdesivir. — TNS New Delhi, April 11 The government may hike foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the pension sector to 74 per cent and a Bill in this regard is expected to come in the next Parliament session, according to sources. Last month, Parliament approved a Bill to increase FDI limit in the insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent. The Insurance Act, 1938, was last amended in 2015, which raised FDI limit to 49 per cent, resulting in foreign capital inflow of Rs 26,000 crore in the last five years. Amendment to Pension Fund Regulatory and Devel- Vishav Bharti Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 11 Poor contact tracing of patients has emerged as a major hurdle in Punjab’s Covid control efforts. Contact tracing is vital as it helps in early diagnosis and checking the spread. At present, the state has tracing rate of 13.4 contacts per case, although as per CJI-DESIGNATE JUSTICE RAMANA VISITS TIRUMALA FDI in pension sector may be hiked to 74% ■ Justice NV Ramana, Chief Justice of India-designate, visited Lord Venkateswara near Tirumala with his family on Sunday ■ The seniormost Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Ramana will take oath on April 24 and will be the 48th CJI ■ An ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara, Justice Ramana spent an hour at the temple ■ Born in an agriculture family in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, he and his wife Sivamala were honoured by the temple authorities with a sacred silk cloth, a portrait of Lord Venkateswara and prasadam — TNS Bill likely to be brought in monsoon session opment Authority (PFRDA) Act, 2013, seeking to raise FDI limit in the pension sector may come in the monsoon session or winter session depending on various approvals, sources said. Currently, the FDI in the pension fund is capped at 49 per cent. Besides, sources said, the amendment Bill may contain separation of NPS Trust from the PFRDA. The powers, functions and continued on page 9 PB WORKING ON IT ■ The state is tracing 13.4 con- tacts per positive patient. As per norms, it should be 25-30 ■ Officials say efforts are on to test at least 20 persons per case norms, it should be 25-30. In a recent communication, the Centre asked the state to focus on contact tracing, par- ticularly in Patiala and Ludhiana districts. Sources say shortage of manpower is hampering the surveillance efforts. The government now is making efforts to test at least 20 persons per positive patient. Till September last year, at 4.4 against the national norm of 10, Punjab’s contact tracing was one of the poorest in the country. Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi on Sunday launched ‘ Tika Utsav’, a vaccination continued on page 9 HP: Negative report must for visitors from seven states SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh Government has made RT-PCR test mandatory for tourists from seven high-load states of Punjab, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh from April 16. This was decided at a meeting chaired by CM Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday. INSIDE India must cherish ‘positive’ trend of de-escalation: Chinese military Beijing, April 11 With no forward movement at the latest round of Sino-India military talks on disengagement from the remaining areas in eastern Ladakh, the Chinese military has said that India should cherish the “current positive trend” of deescalation and cooling down of tensions in the border area. A day after the 11th round of Corps Commander-level talks that lasted for 13 hours, the Indian Army said in a statement on Saturday that both sides held a detailed deliberation on the disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points of Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang in eastern Ladakh and agreed to jointly maintain stability on the ground, avoid any new incidents and resolve the outstanding issues in an “expeditious manner”. In its press note on the latest round of talks between the two militaries held on April 9, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said India should cherish the de-escalation and cooling in the border area, in an apparent reference to the disengagement of troops from the most contentious area of the Pangong Lake in February. Both sides should also adhere to the consensus reached in the previous talks, the state-run China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Sunday quoted the press release by a PLA spokesperson on the talks held at the Chushul border point on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. — PTI NIA arrests Waze associate Kazi 4 terrorists shot dead Resume talks, Vij writes Mumbai, April 11 The NIA on Sunday arrested police officer Riyaz Kazi, an associate of suspended cop Sachin Waze, in connection with the case of an explosivesladen SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence, a police official said. After his arrest, Kazi was produced before a holiday court here, which remanded him in the NIA custody till April 16 for further probe into the case. While seeking his DESHMUKH’S STAFF QUIZZED BY CBI The CBI on Sunday questioned two personal staffers of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with the allegations of corruption levelled against him by Mumbai ex-top cop Param Bir Singh remand for 10 days, the prosecution said when the NIA started conducting a parallel probe soon after the explosives-laden vehicle was found, the accused allegedly killed vehicle owner Manukh Hiran fearing he would disclose their plan. After the case was transferred to the central agency, the accused started destroying evidence like CPU and DVR and others, the NIA told the court. — PTI in two J&K encounters to Tomar; unions see plot to abort their stir Srinagar, April 11 Four militants from Lashkare-Toiba (LeT) and Al-Badr outfits, including those involved in the killing of an off-duty Territorial Army soldier in Anantnag on Friday, were gunned down on Sunday in two encounters with security forces in J&K, the police said. With this, the death toll in the encounters that began on Saturday in Anantnag and Shopian has climbed to five as one militant was killed in the initial exchange of fire. Towseef Ahmad Bhat and Aamir Hussain Ganie, both from Bijbehara and linked to the LeT, were killed at Semthan village in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district after they refused to surrender and fired indiscriminately at a search party, the police said. PAGE 9 To beat the heat, bamboo huts come up at Singhu border Mukesh Tandon Tribune News Service KOCHI: A helicopter carrying prominent NRI businessman MA Yusuff Ali, chairman of international retail firm Lulu Group, his wife and four others crash-landed at a marshy land near here on Sunday. All the passengers, including two pilots, were safe, the police said. BACK PAGE LUDHIANA SAS NAGAR SBS NAGAR JALANDHAR PATIALA AMRITSAR HOSHIARPUR behaviour in community ■ State needs to hire contractual healthcare workers New Delhi, April 11 A day after several non-NDA ruled states flagged Covid vaccine shortages, the Centre on Sunday assured Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra that the issue of expansion of supplies was being considered. In a letter to the principal secretaries (health) of the three states, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “The government has taken note of the issues related to vaccine availability and will take the required action to augment the supplies based on the available stock.” The assurance came along with the Centre taking up with the above states several gaps in Covid response strategy of test, track and treat. The A bamboo hut at the protest site at Singhu border. TRIBUNE PHOTO Sonepat, April 11 With temperature heading north, bamboo huts and sheds with green nets replaced tractor-trailers at Singhu. Over 110 huts have been set up with facilities such as refrigerators, air coolers and fans to give farmers respite from the scorching heat. Equipped with facilities such as refrigerators, air coolers and fans The farmers are spending Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh on such hut. Migrant labourers are working overtime to meet the growing demand. The rising temperature has taken a toll on gathering at Singhu, the epicentre of the farmers’ protest, although farmer leaders claim it is due to the ongoing harvest season. Ravinder Singh Phagwara of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar said they had been putting up at the Delhi border since November 26 last year. “It was easy during the winter months. continued on page 9 Geetanjali Gayatri Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 11 Citing the second Covid wave, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Sunday wrote to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, urging him to resume talks with the protesting farmers, even as the agitation entered the136th day. Apprehending that the Centre could use the rising Covid cases as a ploy to forcibly disperse the protesters, farmers’ leaders said they would not budge from the Singhu and Tikri borders but were willing to resume talks if the government agreed to repeal the three controversial agri laws. “There is no Covid scare at the election rallies attended by big leaders of the BJP If . the Covid threat at the protest sites was real, our agitation Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij THE DEADLOCK The stalemate between farmers’ unions and the Centre has persisted since January 22 when the 11th round of talks took place would not have lasted this long without a majority of farmers testing positive for the virus. We will stay put till the laws are repealed,” a resolute Gurnam Singh Charuni of the BKU (Charuni) faction told The Tribune. The general secretary of the continued on page 9
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